Re: Extropian greed: an oxymoron, alas

Mark Grant (
Sat, 29 Mar 1997 19:42:19 +0000

On Fri, 28 Mar 1997, anonymous wrote:

> An analogous phenomenon exists with many Extropians. We have a philosophy
> of individual self-improvement but we practice it only in the abstract, in
> the imagination, in philosophizing and principalizing and argument, but
> not in our daily present lives.

Speak for yourself... the vast majority of the human race probably fit
into that category (talking and imagining rather than doing), but the
extropians I've met don't seem to. This may be because I tend to meet
those who have done things which make them stand out on the Net.

> We rant against "deathism" and eat (some
> even smoke!) carcinogenic crap, drive and fly recklessly, stay overweight,
> and so on.

Well, OK, I do like rally-driving, scuba-diving, jetboats and ultralights
and think that helicopters are totally cool, particularly when they're
leaning over on their side. But that's because I'm not entirely sure that
life-extension will be possible and I don't want to discover that in fifty
years time and realise that I'd missed out on a lot of fun for nothing.

> We value personal liberty, and promote privacy in the abstract,
> but haven't done much of anything to increase the privacy or liberty of
> our own lives.

Hmm, I wrote a PGP-aware email program for Sun/Linux/FreeBSD, which is
used by a lot of people around the world for secure, private email. Some
of my code was or is in the Mixmaster remailer, and I co-ran a remailer
for some time. I was also involved in the Digicash ecash trials a couple
of years ago. Other extropians have written code for PGP and released
secure Web servers and proxies. There seems to be a large overlap between
the active extropians and active cypherpunks.

Of course from my point of view this was a totally selfish pursuit, as in
order to protect my privacy I have to work to protect privacy in general.
So what looks like altruism to one may be selfish to another.


|Mark Grant M.A., U.L.C. EMAIL: |